Punta Banda/ Esteban Cantu Climate Survey
The Science for the People Punta Banda Climate Survey continuously monitors wind velocity & direction, rain fall, ambient humidity, temperature, barametric pressure, visible and ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation. Meteorological data from the survey is uploaded every five minutes. Solar and UV radiation data is updated every ten minutes. Historical data can be found through our archive the Weather Underground or Citizen's Weather Observer Program (CWOP) . Current and historical conditions for other nearby Wunderground affiliated stations can be found on this map. View the current conditions in the entire SFP microclimate network here.
Long term, quantitative data on solar irradiance (or insolation) and wind power in a given region is essential to assessing the area's renewable energy resource base. For example, the SFP Agua Autonomo project uses the meteorological data gathered here in the analysis and development of passive solar water stills for producing drinking water. Other meteorological measurements such as temperature, humidity, and precipitation are also important considerations for agriculture, wildlife habitat, ecosystem management, and human shelter. Solar ultraviolet light levels are implicated in skin cancer but can be used in some forms of solar disinfection of microbially contaminated water. Beyond assessing what kinds of technologies and practices are most appropriate or sustainable for a given region, collecting baseline climatological data is essential to understanding how local conditions are responding to our changing global climate. Local ground based meteorological platforms provide high spatial resolution meteorological data which is an important addition to satellite climate monitoring and modeling predictions for all of the above applications.
Although small amounts of UV exposure is important to vitamin D synthesis in humans, prolonged or more intensive exposure is associated with degenerative changes in the skin (including cancer) and inflammation reactions in the eyes. The World Health Organization estimates that of the 12-15 million persons who become blind due to cataracts every year about 20% may be caused by sun exposure 1. Fully twenty percent of Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and one American dies of skin cancer every hour.2
The SfP station and interface above provides a current UV Index reading and Alert level for Punta Banda and more specifically the "spit" or "Lengüeta Arenosa". To learn more about the UV Index Scale and standardized alert system here. Maps of the UV index forecasts from around the world are available at weather online. The US EPA and National Weather Service provide this UV Index UV forecast map that covers northern Mexico and Baja. A similarly resolved one day forecast is presented by Wunderground.
1. "Solar ultraviolet radiation: Global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation", The World Health Organization; Environmental Burden of Disease Series, No. 13; Robyn Lucas, Tony McMichael, Wayne Smith and Bruce Armstrong, retrieved from: http://www.who.int/uv/health/en/ on 9/16/2013.
2. "Health Effects of UV Radiation", The US EPA, Retrieved from: http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/health-effects-uv-radiation on 9/16/2013
3. "INTERSUN - The global UV Project: A guide and compendium " The World Health Organization; Radioation and Environmental Health Unit. retrieved from: http://www.who.int/uv/publications/en/Intersunguide.pdf on 9/16/2013.